Vancouver Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis announced today that the Canucks have acquired defenceman Nathan McIver from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for right wing Mike Brown. McIver will report to Manitoba.
I’ll post more of my thoughts on this trade tonight.
[update: 02/04/2009, 6:54 PM]
Earlier this season, the Canucks waived Matt Pettinger because Mike Gillis was worried that someone would claim Mike Brown if he was waived instead. At the time, I wasn’t sure if it was a money issue or an assets management issue. I mentioned that Pettinger was a decent NHL’er capable of putting a regular shift while Brown was on the roster purely for his toughness. And that’s pretty much how their seasons have played out.
That said, I’m as unsure today as I was 3 months ago whether that was the right move. I’m inclined to think that move was based purely on organizational need. Jannik Hansen made Pettinger redundant – plus, Hansen is turning out to be the more versatile player – and Brown’s 5 minutes and 0.55 fights per game played is no longer needed.
What the Canucks need now is some depth on defense and Nathan McIver provides that. Shane O’Brien is still in the doghouse or perhaps trade bait if you believe Pierre McGuire, who mentioned it on TEAM 1040 this morning. Rob Davison is only okay as a no. 6/7 defenseman and Lawrence Nycholat seems to follow in Sami Salo’s footsteps injury-wise. There’s not a lot of options from Manitoba either besides Nolan Baumgartner and Zach Fitzgerald.
Or more simply, maybe this is a roster management move. Nycholat is on the IR right now, but if he’s healthy, the Canucks need to clear a roster spot for him. Instead of waiving Brown and losing another player for nothing, they traded him and filled an organizational need at the same time.
By the way… To play the “Cam Neely game“, consider this – the Canucks traded Matt Cooke to get Pettinger, waived Pettinger to keep Brown, and now traded Brown for McIver, who the Canucks also waived in the preseason. So in the end, we traded Cooke for McIver.